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My first chopmarked coin


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Japan. AR 1 yen. Meiji 16 (1883 AD). Multiple Chinese merchant or banker chopmarks on obverse and reverse, plus on reverse character "gin" (silver) in circle to left of "ichi" (one) of inscription. This coin: Steve Album Internet-only Auction 16, lot 862 (2022).

In 1897, Japan switched from a bimetallic (silver and gold) monetary standard to a gold-only standard, based around a revalued gold yen. As a result, old 1 yen coins were withdrawn from circulation. Some were melted, while others received a stamp of "gin" (silver) to prevent re-exchange for new gold yen (at a profit) and were exported to Korea and China as bullion. In China, these coins would usually end up with merchant or banker chopmarks to indicate that the piece was good silver and acceptable in trade. This is my first chopmarked coin in my collection, I like that it has enough chopmarks to indicate significant circulation but not so many that they destroy the design of the undertype. Please share your chopmarked coins, or whatever else is relevant.

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13 hours ago, Spaniard said:

@Parthicus....Very nice coin...

I've often been tempted by this type but have never really understood "why" the chopmarks...Thanks for the write up, really informative.

The Chinese didn't trust foreign dollar size coins, so the merchant using these coins would have to ID the coin with his chop & guaranty it was good quality silver. Pictured below are a group of chop-marked coins I sold at a CNG auction. Notice there was a Japanese yen coin in that group.


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4 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Very nice @Parthicus- Chopmarks can be very appealing.  I was a very enthusiastic collector of them until I drifted over to ancients.  Here are a few of mine: 


Chops - Netherlands 1867 & 1871 2.5 gldrs  Mar 2020 (0).jpg

Mike, that's a sensational group of Chop-marked coins 🤩! The Straits Settlements $1, & two Philippine pesos are valuable rarities ☺️.

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Nice chopmarked coins posted!  Studying chopmarks is a specialty unto itself.  I wish I had time to delve into this fascinating field, but ancients are currently taking up much of it.

Here's my most heavily chopmarked coin, a Mexico 8 reales, Philip V, 1744 MF.  It weighs 26.4 grams, probably due in part to a piece having been removed at some point, for small change no doubt.


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